Over the past few years, we have been seeing more and more security companies sprouting up. The demand for security services is always there and any service provider with enterprising tweaks can charm many clients. I have even noticed that even some not so professionally put together security companies in Zimbabwe are actually doing quite well. In this article, I want to discuss how you can start a security guards company in Zimbabwe.
As the title suggests the focus of the security company will be to provide security guards. In time the portfolio can expand to other specialist security services. It is wise to niche so that you can channel your efforts more strategically. For example, your niche can be learning institutions – though you can expand in time. The idea is to start with a niche that does not require sophisticated hardware and software on your part. Another niche can be residential areas; of those residential areas you can niche further by residential type or location. Suffice to say there are plenty of niching options for you; the key is conducting comprehensive market research.
The most basic things will be uniforms for the security guards. The uniforms should cover all the possible weather scenarios which mean jackets, trench coats, raincoats, and so on should be included. Everything should be covered from head to toe. Associated accessories should be there too e.g. handcuffs, baton sticks, stun guns, pistols, flashlights, walkie-talkies, and the like. Means of transportation should be included. You do not necessarily have to start with vehicles though you can acquire those later. You can start with basic bicycles that can enable security guards to easily move to and fro their posts. You will need some office space or what essentially will be your operations centre or command centre. You will need basic office equipment including a call centre. For starters, you do not even need a vast place. Some of the most established security companies in Zimbabwe have some very simple and minimalist operations centres.
This depends on the scale at which you want to start. You need security guards and you need personnel manning the operations centre. Right off the top of my mind, I can give an example of a workforce of 10 or even less for starters. Outsourcing where possible will be good for reducing your operating expenses. You can also explore the idea of assigning multiple responsibilities to your staff. What I mean is a security guard can also do administrative duties when not in the field. This can help scale down the number of employees you need. The bottom line is that you must be prepared to employ right from the beginning.
Considerable financial capital will be needed to start this business. There are quite many inputs needed from the onset so a significant amount of capital will be needed. If you can manage to quickly sign up clients that would help in establishing your cash flows immediately.
The market is vast but it is highly segmented. You have to conduct market surveys to figure out where to target. I have noticed that some clients tend to always change service providers. At times that is caused by service providers who slacken their service quality. If you can figure out what appeals the most to clients you can tweak accordingly and offer a service that will lure clients. You have the freedom to niche, expand, diversify, and pivot when needs be. That is one of the great things about the security service industry.
Important Things To Consider
There are some key things you must consider or adhere to in starting this business. As I usually recommend, you must register your security company; here it is a must! In Zimbabwe, it is literally mandatory to register your security guards company as a Private Limited Company (PLC) – that costs around US$100 at the moment. That has to be coupled with signing up for Tax Clearance – which requires about US$65.
Then you have to get insured – any reputable insurance company will guide you accordingly. A license and certificate of approval are needed – to be obtained from Home Affairs. There are about 10 requirements needed to be able to get those two items. They are registration documents, tax clearance, insurance, bank statement, police clearances, curriculum vitae, passport size photos, one or more directors must have related experience (from e.g. police, army, prison services, central intelligence, and so on). An application fee will also be required.
You will also have to register with 4 entities as follows:
- Zimbabwe Alliance Of Private Security
The security business is not a stroll in the park kind of business. It is highly structured and technical plus there is cutthroat competition. You should not cut corners; make sure you adhere to all the regulatory requirements you must satisfy. Even when it comes to hiring employees be thorough in doing background checks.